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Monday, December 10, 2012

A Lesson In Concrete

Last Friday, our concrete slab was poured.  I couldn't wait to get home!

I arrived home mid-afternoon to see the crew troweling this beautiful slab.

They continued throughout the evening and into the night.

Friday was a wet and dreary day.  Concrete is harder to finish in these type conditions.  The finishing process forces the moisture to the top, so the concrete can dry.  (Wet Concrete + Wet Weather = Long Drying Process)  It was a long day for the concrete crew.  They didn't complain, they just waited and persevered.

Saturday morning, we couldn't see much difference in the slab, than what we saw on Friday.  It was another wet and dreary day.

Sunday was cold with snow in the forecast!  Flower Boy got a call from the builder after 5pm.  The concrete guy was concerned about the chance of precipitation.  The fear was, the precipitation would collect on the slab, freeze and the finish, they had worked so hard to obtain on Friday, would crack.  If you remember, I want stained concrete floors and no cracks are my requirements!  The builder assures us, the post-tension, I blogged about on Friday, will keep damaging cracks from happening.  If the top layer freezes, this can cause surface cracks or spider webbing.  Flower Boy and the builder talked for a bit, then  Flower Boy called the concrete guy.  They decide the best thing to do is cover the slab with plastic, to keep any type of moisture from coming in contact with the slab.
During these phone conversations, we are driving to friends house for supper.  Flower Boy tells the concrete guy, we will take care of covering the slab, when we get back home. 

We arrive home around 7:30pm.  Flower Boy and Drewman start rolling out the rubbery plastic material the contractors used to cover the sand inside the form boards.  I ran in the house to change clothes.  When I step outside, I knew there was a problem.  I could see Flower Boy looking around and Drewman wasn't saying a word.  Scared to ask, I say "What's wrong?"  Flower Boy tells me, "There isn't enough to cover the slab."  2003 square feet of slab is A LOT to cover!  We don't panic.  We start looking for items to improvise.  We are ranchers.  We are hard workers.  We know how to make things work with what we have.
I start looking in the storage building and find some old tents and tent covers.  "Will these work?"  Thinking there is enough to cover what is left.  We put those down, but IT STILL WASN'T ENOUGH!

Have you ever made a 9pm panic run to Walmart, on a Sunday night?  I DID!  We live in a small town, thinking our local Walmart would be closed, I drove 25 miles to a 24 hour Walmart.  I arrive and make a b-line to the paint department.  I call Flower Boy, "They have some 6mm plastic 10' x 25'.  How many do I get?"  He figures and replies, "4".  I say, "5?  Just in case?"  He pauses, "Well..."  I interrupt, "They only have 6 rolls!  6?  To be safe?"  I throw them in the cart and head to the checkout.

20 minutes later, I pull back in our drive.  Drewman meets me at the car, opens the hatch and asks, "How many of these did you get, Mom?"

We finish covering the slab around 10:30pm.  I'm not sure Flower Boy slept all night.  This morning, we have no precipitation.  It is still cold and a low tonight of 19 degrees.  I think we will keep our beautiful slab covered for a few days.

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